Short Ideas for a Short Week | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine

Short Ideas for a Short Week

| January 21, 2014

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS – “Sorry, I quit paying attention!” 

What attention span can we ask for these days to sell something?  One of my clients created a 40-second video for an email project, and I was momentarily concerned it was too lengthy to keep people watching.  Another client buys two :60 spots back-to-back on TV to show mini-documentaries.

And yet … we’re still offering to sell :60 spots, loaded up back-to-back, as if it’s 1990.

Good luck selling a lengthy ad online.  When YouTube lets us skip the rest of an ad a few seconds in, and Facebook measures your ad in characters instead of columns or inches, don’t six-minute sets of :60s make you at least a little nervous?  Roy Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” says “Clarity is the new creativity.” Or, if I lost you during that last sentence, “Less is more.”

Facebook’s Ups & Downs

facebooklogoOnline marketers have been thrown into a tizzy-ette (not quite a full tizzy) in the last couple of months, as a result of Facebook changing its formula that lines up the content on your news feed.  Because of this, engagement levels are way down across the board.  So here’s the best way around that:

  1. Remember that you’re doing social media to build more listening and loyalty among your biggest fans … not merely to get likes, shares and comments.
  2. Your best long-term engagement strategy is:  Right Targeting; Right Content; Right Execution. In other words, talk to your station’s target about what matters to them about you. Choose your platforms well, and create posts that make the most of those platforms. Keep doing it, too.
  3. Facebook sees itself as the place where people keep up with friends and family.  Knowing you are not a friend or family but their favorite radio station, be helpful, informative, and entertaining instead of promotional.

Popular… but off-Message

I don’t make any secret about my belief that the hot babe galleries at some rock stations’ websites or the cute pet pics that AC stations post are empty calories.  They may get you hits, but they are doing nothing to build your brand.  Yet, many managers are hesitant to get rid of a featured that’s bringing in site visitors.

If you have a web feature that’s getting reaction that has nothing to do with your brand, why not create another site for it?  Instead of worrying about losing your hot babe hits at your rock station’s site, turn it around.  How many hot babe hits are you missing because those photos are stuck at your rock station?  Make the most responsive, station-oriented rock site you can, and build a great hot babe site as well. Then, send as many people back and forth as you can from one to another, and get revenue from both.

Fear and Frustration

Here’s the biggest difference I notice between radio people I talk to, and those in other businesses. The radio industry folks tend to have a much higher level of fear and frustration than others do.

Those outside of radio still seem fully aware of how challenging the economy is, and are cautiously optimistic in the face of what still can be a challenging business climate.  On the other hand, many radio people I talk with are actively concerned about losing their gigs … or frustrated with being charged to do a job they don’t think they have the tools or authority to do.

Ultimately, people who make ratings or make revenue are not high up the organizational chart.  Without playing the Blame Game, the radio industry today is what it is, but would it kill us to be more committed to the folks actually doing the work?


Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media.  He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or emailed at

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Category: Digital